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Us 4, Pacific 3, San Francisco 2, Flavia 1, Penthouse Unit 1, Penthouse 1, Vertical Expansion 1, The City 1, Old Building 1, Oracle 1, Adrian Coley 1, Fong 1, Antti 1, Mr. Lindsey 1, Moore 1, Antonini 1, Farrell 1, Judy Hayes 1, Sparenger 1, Elizabeth Welles 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    December 22, 2012
    12:30 - 1:00am PST  

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the windows are those that will be covered. all the black windows are 5th floor windows adjacent that will remain. here it is in elevation. and there is also a privacy concern due to one of the windows. here we are within the objector's apartment looking at the window at the very rear that would remain. the privacy concerns can easily be ameliorated by either frosting the lower pane of the window or putting obscure blass glass and the finished deck outside of this window will be 6' below the sill of this window. and we don't see that the privacy issue is insurmountable. it's a spectacular view.
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again, very adequate light and ventilation from that large light court. the room losing its window also shares light through this opening and the doors on the opening are glass. so we hope you will approve this project. we don't believe that property line windows are protect ed thank you very much. >> thank you. >> opening it up to public comment. i have some speaker cards. [ reading speakers' names ] >> good evening president fong and commissioners, my name is christine -- i am an attorney in san francisco and i am
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spoking on behalf of mr. and mrs. flavia, who are at 1870 pacific avenue unit 505, which is the property directly being affected by the project and also speaking on behalf of mr. bernard, who is at 1830 jackson street, who is not here tonight, and has not had an opportunity to send a letter and both partis are objecting to this project. i have some procedural objections to this. my office received the conditional use application this past monday, even though we had asked for it and therefore we had not had enough time to make a presentation in detail about what are the different reasons we object to it? i have been asked specifically to also voice his objections in that he
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apparently did not receive this notice of this application until just recently and was not able to attend tonight. now i am also informed that the sponsor and/or his architect never had a pre-approval meeting with the pacific heights association to get their input on this project. our main concern is that this project is in violation of the neighborhood aspects of the architecture. it's going to be immediately affecting my clients, not only light, but view, but also it's going to create shadows. it's going to also take away not only one window, but two windows practically speaking. so we would -- what i am
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asking the board to do tonight is to put this matter over to a later time that i will have an opportunity to address the board in a more detailed fashion. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> hello my name is judy hayes. we live at 1810 jackson street and with e want to express our concerns and objections. our concerns include four issues. one, the reduction of property value due to a significant impairment of view. two, insufficient time to respond to notification. three,
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[speaker not understood] we believe that this impact can be significantly mitigated by a modest motfication to modification to the plan. the proposed vertical expansion is 14' for one additional floor, which is materially higher than the other floors in the building, including the top floor and seems excessive given the necessary impact of the height expansion on so many other properties. a reduction of a few few could mitigate and at the same time
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not unduly hinder the project for the sponsor's plan. others are materially harmed by it, so should there be some design restraint when taking away the cherished and economically valuable views of many others? why isn't such a modest compromise in the best interest of the community? in addition to having insufficient time, insufficient notification, i would like to comment on the lack of due process. we were dumbfounded when we read the december 6th executive summary that recommends the approval of the conditional use application. how can this report be written before all sides have had an opportunity to express their comments and opinions at the hearing today? isn't this what this hearing today is for? this is our first opportunity
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to speak to the city authorities on this matter, and it appears to us that it's getting rammed through before affected partis can comment. for these reasons we do not feel the planning commission should approve the expansion currently planned at this time and would like the opportunity to meet with the sponsor and with the encouragement of the city to have the plan modified. thank you. >> good evening. my name is elizabeth welles and i currently live at 1824 jackson street. i have lived in san francisco for over 30 years. up until two years ago i lived in presidio heights where i enjoys a nice home with my daughters and a view of the golden gate. when i decided to move to pacific heights in this particular building on jackson, one of the things that was really appealing as it is for all of these neighbors plus
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others who didn't have time to come because of the short notice was the fact we had views. some great, not all of them, but we had partial views of the water. we paid for those views. all of us paid for those views, okay? the proposed addition, not just the floor, because if you look at the plan, it's not just an additional flash, floor, but the solar panels. you are almost looking at adding two floors, not one. they block the water view and i know right to view not necessarily, but what about right to value? we pay taxes and we pay taxes on property and property is high because you have a view. well, with this thing we will no longer have any views. and the question also is
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addition to solar panels under the draft motion it says, "the project is desirable as in keeping with the neighborhood character of tall multi-unit buildings." what about the neighborhood character that isn't next door to the building? what about the neighborhood character of people like us on jackson street on which there are multiple buildings that face this view? we're all affected by this one owner, one singular addition for one families. we're not talking about adding more space for families, but a penthouse for some owner who will block the view and dress decrease the value for all of us in the neighborhood. this is part of the character of the city. you can't encroach by building more and more higher and higher buildings. there was supposed to be a
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pre-application meeting. nothing. i went away for thanksgiving. i came back there was no notice. a neighbor sent me a xerox saying did you know there was a meeting about what was happening? i had no idea. there wasn't a meeting to discuss it and we were barely notified that, in fact, they were doing it. for these reasons i ask the planning commission to please put a stop to the project or at least to stop it right now for a moment so we can at least have a discussion with these people to have a coherent neighborhood again. thank you. >> hi, i'm judy sparing sparenger and i live within 300' of radius of 1856.
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i would like to reiterate that we have not had time to organize and speak to our neighbors that probably don't know this is happening yet. i feel that it is -- i have owned a number of buildings in the city by the way and still do. i feel that it's unfair for a building owner to be able to increase the value of his or her property while decreasing the value of others. thank you. i am sorry it's been so late. thanks. >> my name is adrian coley and i too reside at 1824 jackson street. i submitted an extensive letter that is part of your package.
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i do support everything that has been said by my neighbors and i want to touch on a couple of points that have been raised today. one the lawyer mentioned the fact -- he describes pacific avenue there as being a bunch of tall buildings. well, he seemed to conveniently forget that the building next door to this building, 1856 pacific, is an historic, old, beautifully restored home and the result of this elevation is the roof -- the extension, the penthouse will exceed considerably the roof ridgeline of this victorian mansion. so that is affecting an old, beautiful, old building at the 50' height and has been there since before the turn-of-the-century.
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second point, you have got to remember here that the current building has 11 rent-stabilized apartments. this one will take the top rent-stabilized apartment as i understand it, and turn it into a 42-4300-square-foot duplex penthouse that will still be ten rate-stabilized units below this pent house, but at live in four instances of those rent-stabilized units, according to the planning department notes if you read them, will be reduced southerly. substantially. in addition, the 5th floor, which is going to be added, which creates the elevation and as my neighbor says that 5th floor will have a 14.5' ceiling.
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that terrace on top that is basically going to support this penthouse is going to go out 9' into the existing yard. there is a tall foot yard and this terrace on the top floor will go out 9' over the existing yards and there will be 3' left, but that existing terrace at 9' will completely obscure the views of all the rent-stabilized units below it. finally the reference was made to the solar panels. there are now -- >> sir your three minutes are up. thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much.
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any additional public comment? public comment portion is closed. commissioner antonini? >> thank you. well, it's an interesting project. and i do want to compliment -- i think the architect is here, if i am not mistaken. from the rendering it looks like not only has the penthouse been added, but the facade is being much improved over what was there in 1966, which was probably not the top of the architectural times. but it is, with the arches and some of the way that the windows are treated with french windows going in and some nice improvements to the facade of the building. but that is not what we're here for, because we're talking more about the impacts that this will have on adjacent properties. and as has been mentioned, two things are not protected, property line windows and views, but we always try to do
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whatever we can to protect those. we have the matching light wells, which is one way we do it and that will take care of most of the essential windows. and i understand that two property line windows will be recovered, but all the rest of them will not be covered. so i think that is probably done pretty well in that regard. the issue of asbestos removal was brought before us and this is a dbi issue that has to be properly dealt with by department of building inspection and in a consistent way and best practices so it's nots a hazard. then we get to the buildings on jackson and the views and again, views are not protected, but i understand your concerns. you bought it with a certain view and now it's going away.
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i would like to ask the project sponsor's architect a couple of questions regarding the floor to ceiling heights. now when they talk about 14.5'. is the 14.5' an interior height of the ceiling or the entire height of the new penthouse from the floor below it? >> it would be the latter. 14' from floor to floor. so you would take out the roof structure out of that number. so essentially it would be 12.5' ceiling within the space. >> okay. and that is something that we'll ask the other commissioners. again we're not protecting views, but if can we ameliorate the effect by taking a foot or two off, it still would be a very -- you do want to have -- you don't want a low ceiling in the penthouse obviously, but 10-12' is still
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fairly significant room height, i would say. and then the other thing is the solar panels. now are they -- is it possible to make those flatter panels and still get the same result and not block so much and also from an appearance point of view, it might look a little bit better? >> just regarding the solar panes, those are existing thermal solar panels that are typically at 45 degrees angles or so to take advantage of sunlight. so in other words, we're looking at adding 14' to the building itself. the panels as they are now placed are about 11' above the top of the roof line. so to answer your question, we could convert those panels from thermal solar to photovoltaic,
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which can operate at a lower angle of inclination. and thereby reduce the overall height, so that instead of replacing the current panels with either similar or the same panels, we could lower those. the short answer is yes. we would like to maintain if possible the height of the structure, but if we were to make the panels flat or nearly flashlight at the roof surface, i think that would alleviate a lot of concern of the neighbors up on jackson street. >> so what i'm hearing you are going up 14.5' for the penthouse unit. floor to floor. but the panels are going to be on top of what you are adding correct? >> correct and those would be approximately another 11', which is how they sit currently. if we brought those down, in a flatter position, we could use
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photovoltaics and maybe keep those at 3-4' above the height of the roof line. >> let's see what the other commissions think. whatever you can do to minimize the impact, i think it would be good. and especially as far as the solar panels are concerned. >> commissioner moore? >> i have a question for mr. lindsey, called process. this is the first time today that we are hearing that we are moving from a dr into a conditional use authorization. that by itself requires neighborhood notification is that correct? >> that is correct. >> has this neighborhood notification been issued to all the people with a sufficient amount of time? i would like to ask, please do not participate in my discussion
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with planning staff here. the reason why i'm asking is we had a holiday and we're moving back into holidays. for me it comes as a big surprise for a change in cu. i am very surprised. i kind of don't have a sense that the type of dialogue we normally encourage in the cu between an applicant and the neighborhood has been done to the extent that it answers those kinds of questions. for example, the issue about the solar panels. they are 11' above the additional floor we're adding. that is a significantly taller building because we all know that solar panels are very significant and they are not very good to look at. to be very honest,, as much as item interested to energy conversations, these solar panels, the tall ones are not particularly attractive. the second point and i have said before and i would like to
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remind you of conversations with supervisor farrell, we had a situation in another part of pacific avenue. i think it was on broadway around pacific, where property line windows in buildings this were built prior to the time when property line windows were an issue are a standard part of older apartment buildings. it was partially done for cross-ventilation and it was potentially done because of the length of the building and the mass of the building. and many of the units around the corridor with additional light wells and property line windows and light wells created the only type of light and air in the apartments. i happened to live in one of those myself, but by using the argument of property line windows aren't permitted, which under the current code when
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buildings are built today, that is correct. in those days, those rules didn't exist. so i believe that the examination of how we all of a sudden decide to brush away the quality of life in those units, irrespective of who lives in them, owners, renters, i don't care, it creates a change. we have a rule in this room that secondary conversations, please be kept to a minimum, if you don't mind. i am sorry to saying that, but i'm in the middle of the thought i want an answer and consideration and besides it's light. so i'm having a hard time that we're just brushing that aside saying property line windows, that is just too bad and we're opening the door for a huge amount of large apartment buildings, which are
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the signature and the mainstay of many of the buildings in that area, without really thinking about the consequences. in addition to that, i do not believe that adding one floor to an already large building without adding any units with the affect it has on everybody else is really any net gain by which i'm interested in not having a larger argument of why we're doing this? >> i wanted to respond to you about the notification for the conditional use. the project was correctly noticed to all property openers. regarding property line windows i take your point. the department's practice in reviewing cases like this is to, of course, see if the rooms
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in question have oracle sources of -- other sources of light and in this case they do. they have windows that look to the rear of the building or the front of the building or windows that look into the large light court. so it does not remove the main source of light or air. that is our standard. >> and any unit loses one window, however has the remaining window impacted by a terrace, by a roof terrace, including an additional, more advantageding look at these solar panels. i think there is a diminishing ever quality, which i think we should be really be aware of.
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>> we did look at the rear terrace in particular and we noted that the level terrace is 6' below the sill of the window. so there is not really a question of sort of yes, you could stabbed stand on the deck and you could see somebody there. >> there are many people are who 6'2, i happen tot knob that tall, but even if you see the top of the head looking out the window is not particularly comfortable. i'm not saying that we should necessarily go for the specifics -- i want a broader
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discussion of where thepability is instead less for those people who spoke tonight. >> commissioner antti. >> it doesn't like like you have room to put them on the 4th floor that remains rather than the very top. i don't know if that can be done. >> commissioner, if i understand you, the fourth floor terrace is actually a northern-orientation and would not work well. >> the second question for the
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architect, i'm not necessarily proposing this as a condition, but you might want to look at your plan and see if there is any way you could match the property line windows that are being affected by any sort of matching light well or some source of light and still not detract from your plan for the upper floor. because it's a graciously-sized floor and that might be something that we'll see if the other commissioners have any ideas about that. i don't know if it can be done. >> essentially we're kind of extruding from the existing light well, which the building already maintains. it's got a light well on either side. the height we are getting isn't impacting next level of windows above that, for example. cutting down a couple of feet
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wouldn't open up any windows that we would be covering by going up 14'. and i just wanted to make one comment, if i could, regarding the idea of the blocked property line windows. if you look at the rendering of the building as proposed, the building to the left of our proposed project, the units within that building are all typical. in other words, they repeat from bottom to top. they are designed similarly on either side of the building and if you noticed the building to the west of it, it's the same height. it matches it. it's approximately 70 something feet high. so all of those unitss are designed essentially with light well and courts. rear of the building, those rooms are all designed to function in that way. as are the lower four levels of this building. so in other words, the only units wi